Change

Driving change

I was recently asked to sum up our success and significant upturn in performance in an email and found it almost impossible. However In 2012 Edinburgh won the Bookseller Library Service of the Year Award and I think this sums up our success pretty well. The award was launched to recognise library services which are thriving and innovating in a difficult climate and increasing access and performance.

Edinburgh was considered against a range of libraries across the UK. Judges identified our key strengths as:
* Range of services for hard to reach readers
* A cutting edge website and Library App
* Engaging social media activity
* Committed support from the local authority.

Also referenced in our success was our online library portal ‘Your Library‘, 2 brand new library facilities within the city including Drumbrae Library Hub and Craigmillar Library Hub, refurbished facilities in Morningside and several others, the Prison Library Service, the range of special reading projects including those for dyslexic children and services for older readers.

Judges concluded that Edinburgh Libraries & Information Services are “innovative on so many fronts, full of energy, bang up to date and unafraid of the future”. Providing “a template for libraries everywhere to be inspired by.”

This is the third national libraries award won by the city’s library service in two years. In July 2010, the service was successful in winning the Libraries Change Lives Award from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals for HMP Edinburgh Library Partnership (Saughton Prison).
This was followed in 2011 with the ‘Whose Town’ Project achieving the Scottish Design Awards Chairman’s Award.

Key to any success is the fantastic teamwork and innovative thinking in our staff. It is the power to drive and embrace change

If you would like to know more we are hosting  our annual EDGE 2013 conference 28th February – 1st March and we would be delighted to put some flesh on the bones of this short summary

Call for Award entries for EDGE2013

Call for Award entries for EDGE2013 – Pushing the boundaries of public service delivery

Is your project good enough?

Edinburgh 28th February – 1st March 2013

EDGE 2013 highlights and rewards good practice in innovative library and information projects which:

  • Show or sell benefits of library and information services to other sectors, organisations and communities
  • Demonstrate innovation and creativity
  • Increase participation

The purpose of the awards is to recognise positive achievements and promote outstanding library based initiatives which celebrate the value of libraries.
We don’t want the process to be cumbersome so we are asking for some brief details which will be followed up with a phone interview.
We are looking for cutting-edge innovative projects around developments in the following categories;

There will be 3 awards for innovation (The winners for each category will receive the EDGE 2012 trophy, no financial reward) which will follow the format of the conference
1. Physical  – buildings, layout, targeted spaces.
2. Virtual – Websites, apps, virtual library, digitisation
3. Social – Work involving communities or target groups, engagement or making a difference
CLOSING DATE – 31st January 2013
The awards are open to global applications – Finalists will be offered 1 free place at the 2 day conference & Gala Dinner.

 

Libraries – driving a digital future for Scotland

The Scottish Government published its Digital Public Services FrDigital future wordleamework  on the 19th of September. The document sets out the vision and helps shape how the Scottish Government will move forward with their priority of public service reform over the coming years.

It puts the needs of users at the heart of services.  We know online services mean that we can access information when we require it, pay a bill or even arrange social care in a simple and quick way. The strategy outlines how different organisations can join up across all sectors to deliver services in a more responsive way.

So where is our library and information leadership? This is our opportunity to put forward a business case for libraries now and  in the future Who is going to keep people skilled up? Who will people trust to access much of this?

I believe the future of libraries is in driving and  underpinning this strategy and making it a reality for real people.

Join us at Libraries driving a digital future at the VOCAL conference

Sandbags and gladrags

Our WW1 History Hub opened yesterday and will gather and collate information on the  history oHistory Hub as trenchf Scotland’s contribution to the 1914-18 conflict that cost 16 million lives, including more than 140,000 Scots.

You are invited to look around and share the stories.

An area of Edinburgh’s Central Library underwent a remarkable transformation into a First World War trench area, complete with mock images of walls, barbed wire and sandbags.

Examples of real ammunition, a soldier’s helmet, toys, clothes and other artefacts from the Great War are also on display.

10 euros to turn mobile phone users into book readers?

A German e-reader company has launched its device . Likely to be priced at a startling €10, the txtr beagle  5” e-reader is small and light, and runs on two AAA batteries.Txtr Beagle gadget

Txtr is planning to tackle a growing problem: how to turn mobile phone users into book readers, a potential market, which could be huge.

At €10, the beagle may not feel like having to buy another device, and therefore might appeal to readers who want to read digitally, but don’t want to do so on their mobile phones.

Something else for us all in libraries to wrestle with?

Eye on the future

With an eye on the future Edinburgh’s libraries are are ready to underpin the Scottish Government’s plans for Scotland’s Digital Future

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced “It will also change the way that we live – from the way we book holidays to the way we access health care.  We are committed to ensuring that all of Scotland is able to reap the social and cultural benefits of the internet.

Broadband, just like roads and railways, is a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure, and that is why we are committed to delivering a world class digital infrastructure to the people of Scotland by 2020.”

Chris van der Kuyl, Chief Executive of Dundee-based online publishing company Brightsolid, said:

“ A digital Scotland to me is a concept that has to be central to our future. As a small country with huge intellectual capacity, digital media and digital  technology have to be right at the core of everything we do going forward.”

Edinburgh’s libraries can support everyone with the information, skills, access to content and opportunities to get on board and benefit from Scotland’s bright future

Move over Orange!

Haven’t I got the smartest team!

Negotiation , partnership development, marketing acumen, skills in social media and technology………………. is us!

Those lovely folks at the Cameo cinema are offering 2 for 1 entry to showings of Liberal Arts to Edinburgh library card holders. Check out our Tales of One City blog

EDGE 2013 CONFERENCE

EDGE AwardsPushing the boundaries of public service delivery – Thursday 28th February & Friday 1st March 2013

EDGE2013 provides many opportunities to learn from and meet with speakers, decision makers and other practitioners leading the transformation agenda. These are the change managers, thought leaders, and many movers and shakers in libraries and information services, shared services, content management, engagement and regeneration.

Invest in your organisation, the future, and yourself by attending the fourth EDGE conference in one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world, Edinburgh!

Are you innovative? enter for our prestigious EDGE 2013 awardsEDGE 2013 conference

This WILL once again be one of the most exciting, inspiring and relevant conferences to be held in Scotland in 2013, we always make it a conference to remember!

Marshall Breeding, Brian Gambles, Natasha Innocent, Richard Watson, Neil McInnes already confirmed… watch this space!

In praise of the virtual library

We increasingly function in a world of e-resources, developing virtual tools and collaborative communities. Opportunities abound and the economic value of producing locally generated, user-generated content will be even more crucial in the future.

In transforming our service for the 21st century we identified an audience that never enters a library, those who prefer “The Virtual Library”. This service is also essential to traditional library users who have experience and expectations of sites like Amazon and other personalised information electronic services. This is key to our strategy not only to transform Edinburgh City Libraries but to ensure that our transformation is apparent to our residents and users across the city.

The Virtual Libraryhttp has been developed to give one access point for all Edinburgh City Libraries online services. It is the first of its kind in the UK an example of best practice that can be replicated by other services. It has raised the awareness of the e-delivery of information and services amongst our customers and has led to an increase in usage. It has offered free promotion of our services to an audience we cannot reach in the traditional manner. Free promotion and marketing replacing expensive paper based materials at a time of shrinking budgets

The future is mobile

We have been extending service provision for citizens and engaging with the wider community through innovative use of electronic services and applications (Apps) for mobile devices.  Our work in mobile devices is best seen in the context of our wide-ranging social media and digital communication strategy.

The first of its kind for a Scottish public library, the Edinburgh Library app has up to date information about library events, activities, and service updates that are usually only available on the library website. The app also includes Bus Tracker, First Bus timetable information, and additional content from Edinburgh City Libraries.

The app is available on the iStore and for Android users. You can also download the app by scanning theEdinburgh's Library App QR (quick response code) into your camera phone

In Edinburgh, Libraries and Information services have demonstrated an innovative contribution to the city’s electronic information, technology at the same time as improving access and quality of service.

Edinburgh’s Libraries are not only about books, learning and formal information provision, they are about healthy communication networks and well informed neighbourhoods.